Itsonlyactingdad #10 with Joe Bravo riding, won the $ 100,000 Grade III Winstar Matchmaker Stakes at Monmouth Park
Starlight Racing’s Itsonlyactingdad gave trainer Todd Pletcher a fourth win on the day in Sunday’s Grade 3 Matchmaker at Monmouth Park. Jockey Joe Bravo was also recording his fourth win of the day aboard the 4-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway, who covered 1 1/16 miles over the yielding turf in 1:52.27 to win by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire.
“After my day at Saratoga yesterday being able to come down here with the mounts I had is just living a dream,” said Bravo. “It’s fun to deal with good horses and with these horses any jock in the jock’s room could have sat on any one of these horses and won the race. It’s just nice that it was me. What makes this filly special is that she did it with so much ease. Every time I pointed her at something she listened perfectly.”
Invading Humor jumped out of the gate to take the lead, but was run down early by Means Well, who drew out to a one-length lead to post fractions of :24.64 and :49.38. Pink Poppy was tucked in behind those two, with a gap of nearly seven lengths back to the rest of the field, where Itsonlyactingdad was traveling in sixth. Nearing the three-quarters mark, Means Well had drawn away to nearly a two-length lead, but Pink Poppy was rallying strongly up the outside.
Pink Poppy held the lead at the top of the lane, but Itsonlyactingdad quickly took up the challenge after moving through an opening on the rail. Means Well began to fade mid-way through the stretch, just as Bravo angled Itsonlyactingdad out into the clear. The filly took off, bounding away to a 1 1/4 length victory over Pink Poppy in second. Uchenna nosed out Bureau de Change for third.
Bred in Kentucky by Bluegrass Hall, Itsonlyactingdad was a $ 270,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. The Matchmaker is her first graded stakes victory, and her career record stands at four wins from nine starts, with earnings of over $ 370,000.
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